A section of the A285: for motorists, it's not as bucolic as it seems

Bucolic West Sussex road �most dangerous� in Britain

A 12-mile stretch of the A285 in West Sussex, England, has been identified as the most persistently dangerous road in Britain, according to a report from the Road Safety Foundation (RSF).

The perilous section of road lies between Chichester and Petworth, where fatal and serious crashes have increased 16 per cent over the period 2007 to 2012.

The road topped a list of high-risk and medium-high-risk roads which have shown little or no change in accident levels or which have had significant increases in the number of crashes, as listed in the RSF report ‘How Safe Are You On Britain's Roads?’. 

The RSF said the safety measures taken so far on the A285 are not enough to tackle its problems and "more far-reaching intervention" is needed.

The second most persistently risky road on the list is a 10-mile stretch of the A809 in Glasgow, followed by an eight-mile section of the A937 at Montrose, Angus.

Other persistently risky roads include a 9.7-mile stretch of the A18 between Laceby and Ludborough in Lincolnshire, a 5.6-mile section of the A6 at Lancaster and a 6.4-mile stretch of the A61 at Wakefield in West Yorkshire.

The RSF report shows that local councils scheduling low-cost safety improvements alongside routine maintenance has helped reduce fatal and serious crashes by 80 per cent on 15 stretches of roads. These reductions are estimated to be worth £400m to the economy.

Other highlights of the report include:

  • Risk of death and serious injury on motorways and A roads is lowest in the West Midlands and highest in the East Midlands
  • Running off the road accounts for a quarter of all deaths
  • Risk to road users is seven times greater on single-carriageway A roads than motorways
  • Motorways have seen a 20 per cent reduction in fatal and serious crashes
  • Junction crashes are the most common collision leading to serious injury
  • Motorcyclists account for 1 per cent of traffic but 21 per cent of fatal crashes.

RSF engineering manager James Bradford said: "Authorities commonly report that many of the most effective improvements have not, surprisingly, been carried out specifically to improve road safety. Often the pressing need to carry out very basic maintenance has initiated action and the additional safety enhancements were a later addition.

"Scheduling in this way is extraordinarily cost effective; 90 per cent of routes listed contained work on resurfacing, signing and marking. Fatal and serious crashes have been reduced by 80 per cent on 15 stretches of UK roads, which saw 237 people killed and seriously injured in the three years before the action was taken, but only 52 after."

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